The Texas Rangers finished the first half with a 54-41 record (56.8%), which has them in second place in the A.L. West, 2 games behind the A’s. The Rangers are tied with the Rays for the A.L. Wild Card spots right now. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impacts for the Rangers in the first half of the 2013 season:
TEAM MVP: Adrian Beltre – 34-year old righty swinging 3B Adrian Beltre continues to rip the ball for the Rangers. He has played in 93 games for the Rangers so far this year and he is 118 of 374 (.316 avg, .901 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 21 homers and 55 RBIs. He has been locked in this year as he has only walked 22 times and whiffed 42 times, so he is swinging at a lot of pitches and he’s hitting them hard. Beltre is leading the Rangers in runs scored (54) so far this year. He is also #2 in homers (21) and #2 in RBIs (55) on the team so far this year.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Neal Cotts – 33-year old lefty reliever Neal Cotts has been electric this year for the Rangers. He has pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the Rangers so far this year and he is 4-1 with a 1.01 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He has only given up 17 hits and 9 walks while whiffing 32 batters in his first 26 2/3 innings, as he is bringing the heat. Cotts has not pitched in the majors since 2009 with the Cubs, due to injury…..but he’s showing no signs of rust as he is pitching the best baseball of his career right now.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Justin Grimm – The Rangers need some of their younger pitchers to step up due to injuries in the starting rotation, but 24-year old righty starter Justin Grimm is having a rough time. Grimm has pitched in 17 games (all starts) for the Rangers so far this year and he is 7-7 with a 6.37 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Grimm has given up 116 hits (15 homers) and he has walked 31 batters while whiffing 68 of them in his first 89 innings pitched, as he has been getting hit really hard so far in 2013.